EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2 BY CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS AND IRENE STRYCHALSKI
Story
Art
Characterization
Summary
EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2 is filled with great meta jokes and references to comic book tropes from writer Chris Hastings. The sometimes ultra violent action scenes are made hilarious by artist Irene Strychalski rather cartoony art style. It's the perfect book for fans of darkly humorous comics.
89 %
Hilarious Horror

EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2, part of the lead-up to the upcoming VENOMVERSE event, introduces yet another alternate reality hero bonded to a psychotic symbiote. This time it’s Gwenpool, a comic book super-fan from “our reality” who found herself transported into the Marvel Universe. Writer Christopher Hastings tells a hilarious tale about an alternate symbiote-bonded Gwenpool. Artist Irene Strychalski’s cartoony style highlights the absurdity of the character and her ultra violent antics. Sprinkled with tons of meta humor and superhero comic jokes, EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2 is perfect for any fans of comedic comic books.

Bullet-Riddled Beginning

EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2 begins with Gwenpool marching triumphantly into a drug deal held in a dark and creepy warehouse. Almost immediately after greeting the shady goons, she gets shot multiple times and is left for dead. Right off the bat, this sets the morbidly witty tone for the rest of the book. The clever send-up of the usual “superhero stops some ne’er do wells” trope only gets more darkly humorous. Gwen’s bullet-riddled body sits motionless for three panels as the bad guys nonchalantly continue their deal.

Edge of Venomverse #2
EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2 page 4, courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Hastings creates a questionably hilarious beginning by adding this scene. While this opening could happen in a Deadpool book, we know Wade has a healing factor. Gwen, meanwhile, has no superpowers whatsoever. It looks like the hero quite literally bit the bullet on the second page of the book. In any other comic, this would be horrifying. Thanks to Strychalski’s artwork, you can’t help but laugh a bit at the page. Gwen isn’t shot off panel. Instead, Strychalski shows the bullets graphically ripping through her. However, Gwen looks just cartoony enough for it to look absurd rather than gruesome. The addition of a single text box saying “ow” underscores the humorous tone.

READ: Love Gwenpool? Here’s a review of a recent issue of THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL! 

Genuine Hilarity

Thanks to Hastings’ writing and Strychalski’s art, I laughed out loud while reading EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2. I’ve thought something was humorous in a comic many times before. However, it’s rare for me to actually laugh. A lot of the humor came from the dialogue rather than the actual action in the book, save for the sequence detailed above. Meta comic book related references fill nearly every page of EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2. Hastings proves his intense understanding of what makes a superhero comic book through the constant stream of meta jokes and comments.

Edge of Venomverse #2
EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2 page 9 courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

For example, the issue begins with Gwen speaking about why she sought out to become a superhero. According to Gwen, faceless background characters are generally the first to die if something goes south. If she becomes a hero, she can live longer. Of course, right after saying this she gets riddled with bullets. Later on in the book, Gwen notices that Daredevil seems a little young. Gwen’s symbiote explains that she lives in an alternate universe, not the main Marvel Universe. It’s bizarre seeing a symbiote, a creature whose main dialogue when not reined in by a host is “I wanna eat your brains,” explain the intricacies of alternate realities to our hero. Plus, it serves as a great way to explain why some elements of the comic seem a bit different from the regular Gwenpool book.

EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2 — Great for New Readers

WATCH: Here’s our interview with writer Christopher Hastings!

If you never picked up a Gwenpool comic before, don’t worry. This book is perfect for both fans and newcomers. Gwenpool explains the whole basis of her character on the first page. As someone who’s only read the first two volumes of THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL, I didn’t feel like I missed anything, nor do I feel like I needed the greater understanding of the character. If I had never read the two books, I would still understand and enjoy EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2. Casual fans may not understand some of the more obscure meta jokes, but the main plot stays very coherent and understandable.

EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2 — A Must Read for Fans of Comedic Comic Books

With EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #2, Hastings writes a highly humorous book filled with bizarre, violent scenes and wacky meta humor. Strychalski highlights the jokingly lighthearted tone of the book with her cartoony style, creating a perfect bridge between the violent action scenes and the constant stream of jokes. If you love the Gwenpool character, this book is a must-read. Even if you never heard of the character, if you love comedy in comics, you’ll love this book. If this issue is any indication, the Venomverse event is shaping up to be a fun-filled event for fans of the whole Marvel Universe. You don’t even need to be a Venom fan to enjoy these books!

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